A guest review by my compatriot Ted Bahas.
Air display™ for Ipad
Price 9.99 at the App Store
I am a portable tech geek and I travel quite a bit for work. Last year I bought an iPad to use on my short trips. It was a really good substitute for my Macbook pro for many things. Unfortunately, I do a fair amount of HTML and WebDNA programming and there isn’t a really good html editor available for the iPad. So, I bought a MacBook air. For all intents and purposes the the MacBook Air is all I really need to take with me but… I really fell in love with convenience and workflow of the iPad. So now I travel with both! So what do I do when I am on the road with both devices?
Air Display for the Mac makes carrying the Ipad worth the effort. Air Display allows you to use your iPad as a second monitor for your laptop or any other computer with WiFi and It runs on both Mac and Windows machines. After you purchase it from the app store it launches with a splash screen on how to install its driver on your computer. It even has some videos linked to the splash screen describing how to use it. It only took me a couple of minutes to get the software installed on my Macbook Air.
Once installed, you simply launch the iPad app and select the ipad from the air display menu on your laptop. You can use the standard Mac OS displays preference panel to set up its arrangement on your desktop. After it was setup, I was surprised how responsive it was over WIFI. I was able to play back video on it without it being too choppy. The mouse response and scrolling was surprisingly good for a wireless connection.
(Editors note: It feels like a really good remote desktop connection.)
Also, having no cable also meant that I could place the iPad anywhere in the room. If you turn on mirroring you can use the iPad like a remote vnc for your laptop.
I use the ipad for my Skype lists and email browser and I have my main programs on the laptop. Another unique side benefit is that the touch screen works as a mouse. While it doesn’t recognize iPad multitouch gestures, it does let you do 2 finger scrolling and select and drag functions. I found it extremely useful for programs that have with multiple windows or programs that have a bunch of tool palettes.
Air display is not the first program that allows you to use the iPad as a second monitor, it is the first one that actually works well. If you travel and carry both a laptop and iPad this is a must have app!